To the person who replaced Indiana University It's On Us' Sex and Consent posters with fake ones --
Maybe you were part of the 1-3 percent of perpetrators who are wrongly accused. Maybe you’re a man who was once assaulted and are angry with the very, very false stigma that men cannot be victims. Maybe you had a somewhat understandable reason.
Odds are you didn’t.
Even in a world where so many things are disagreed upon, I would hope sexual assault wouldn’t be something still up for public debate. Victims’ and survivors’ trauma is not your joke, nor is it political. I would think support for survivors and opposition towards rapists would be the one thing people from all backgrounds could agree upon.
Turns out, I thought wrong. Let’s break this down.
First of all, consent is not a “generic buzzword that we use to shove our own personal brand of feminism down your throat.” Consent is what separates a non-rapist from a rapist -- plain and simple. It is not something you "'loose' the moment that one chick from the party you had last night 'relizes' she has to explain to her boyfriend why she had sex with nearly five guys." Only about two percent of rape accusations are determined to be false – about the same amount as any other felony. On the flip-side, about 99% of accused rapists walk away free. This leaves a huge, inexcusable middle ground in which victims' rapists never see consequences for their actions, which leads to fewer reports.
Therefore, "your say in the whole thing" DOES matter because if it didn't, 99.4% of victims wouldn't have to live their lives knowing that their rapist is walking free while they suffer trauma that may last a lifetime.
Some say "attention whores" destroy careers. Apparently, the odds aren't in your favor for that, either, because a man who was recently attacked by the claims of at least THIRTEEN "attention whores" is now called President.
Consent is now a very promoted idea, especially on college campuses. I understand your frustration with the technicalities of it, but if you are a respectable person you should want to make sure your partner is enjoying themselves. Often an assaulted person does not resist or specifically say "no" because they are too intoxicated to make conscious decisions. They may also completely shut down as a coping mechanism, or are scared of what would happen if they resist.
Consent isn't really difficult or complicated. You should want to get consent anyways out of respect and some amount of care for the person you're with.
In regards to the closing statement, "Indiana University does not tolerate any differences in opinion. If you disagree with us, you are a dead mother fucker," I have one statement: it should be obvious to disagree with rape, and your comments on the matter reveal your character.
As a woman in college, I have long been cognizant of the existence of rape culture. I have heard the comments and seen the sneers. I have been grabbed and teased in a way that sounded more like a threat than a joke. I have felt shame for things that were not my fault. I have listened as others tell me their stories; some of my friends are victims and survivors. Rape culture is very real, and a very valid concern for all colleges and students.
The It's On Us campaign does wonderful things to protect college students across the country. I have been a member of our campus' It's On Us affiliated club since the very first week of my freshman year. I am proud of the progress we have made, and this event has been a sobering reminder of how far we still have left to go.
I have faith that we will persist, and despite these trials, we will prevail.